Intermediate skills

Can I take intermediate classes at Blues Union?

If you have taken 6 months or more of blues classes at Blues Union or Bluesy Tuesy, you can take the intermediate classes at Blues Union!

Do you work on your dancing outside of classes (at Clinic, in privates, with your friends)? Below are the skills you need to take intermediate classes. If you feel you have these skills, but haven’t met the class requirement, you can do a blues interview with Julie Brown or Jenn Martinez. The best time to inquire about this is at a Blues Clinic.

What skills do I need?

-Blues Aesthetic:

  • Consistent pulse
  • Basic blues posture (hips back, torso slightly pitched, knees bent, weightiness/energy going into the ground)
  • Knows the difference between jookin’ and ballroomin’

-Vocabulary:

Knows and can execute:

  • Open position, closed position, close embrace, breakaway, and solo blues. Close embrace does not need to feel perfect, but should be on the way to feeling good.
  • Slow drag basic step in place, rotating, and traveling forwards & backwards
  • Struttin’ basic step in place, rotating, and traveling forwards & backwards
  • Fishtails & shake’n’bake basic step**
  • Mooch or grind basic step**
  • Some form of inside turn and outside turn
  • Some form of right and left side pass

**Needs to be recognizable, but does not need to be perfect

-Musicality:

  • Able to dance full time (quicks), half time (slows), and quarter/eighth time (super slows) to most music
  • Finds the beat and stays on (or preferably behind) it

-Momentum & Connection:

*These skills do not need to be mastered to get into intermediate, but students must have been exposed to the ideas and should clearly be working on implementing them

  • Moves/walks from center (not reaching with the foot)
  • Leads/follows from the body
  • Frame not extremely stiff or extremely loose
  • Followers stay in motion in the direction they are sent, until the leader redirects them
  • Redirection of momentum feels gradual/soft (not abrupt). Feeling stretchy is a bonus!

How do I get the skillz? How do I become a better dancer at any level?

  • Take the beginner series at Bluesy Tuesy. These classes are specially design to build the skills you’ll need to get to intermediate. There is plenty of material to be learned, and there are several topics that we’ll rotate through, so you can expect to spend many months (if not a year or more) at the beginner level. Even if you are an intermediate dancer, we also encourage yo to take the Bluesy Tuesy classes, since there is a lot of great material to delve into or revisit in these classes.
  • Come to the Blues Clinic at Blues Union on the last Thursday of every month. In the Blues Clinic, you get to work 1-on-1 with instructors and advanced dancers. You can ask questions, get general feedback, or tell them you want to work on specifically on skills to make it into the intermediate level.
  • Take private lessons. Most of the instructors offer private lessons, which are one of the best ways to improve quickly.
  • Take weekend workshops in Boston. There are sometimes weekend workshops in Boston. When there are, we’ll have announcements and fliers at the dance and links on this website and Facebook, so you should be able to find out. :)
  • Travel to blues events in other cities. There are plenty of blues events around the country which offer classes and lots and lots of dancing with people from all over. And, they are super-fun! There are often announcements and fliers at the dance, so check those out for more information.

What if I can’t make it to classes on Tuesdays, but want to move to intermediate?

You can take the Blues Basics class at Blues Union from 8:30-9:15, and any of the other opportunities listed above.